Zeno Group Black Voices ERG: Why Representation Matters
When it comes to representation, especially within media, we constantly hear about how much it matters. But what does that really mean? From empowering all of your employees to be their authentic selves within any space, to integrating intersectionality into how you interpret representation -- considering ways to amplify all kinds of Black voices, and more, there are many ways that you can do your part in ensuring that your team members feel seen and heard in and out of the office all year long. Take a look at what some of our employees had to say.
“Representation is walking into any given room and feeling embraced instead of isolated. It’s seeing women that look like you as walking examples of achievement and intelligence and connecting with people from all walks of life to celebrate their stories and experiences.” – Kayla Hall, Account Executive
“Representation can help improve feelings of isolation, instill confidence and motivate people. There is rarely a week that goes by that we don’t hear about the first Black person to do or achieve something. So, until we get to a point that this is no longer noteworthy, there is still much work to be done to ensure people see what’s possible.” – Jay Williams, Vice President
“Representation to me means everything – it means that I am not alone. We [POC] are always so self-aware of the space that we’re taking up because we’re constantly in a place where we don’t feel like we have a space. So, walking into a room and seeing someone just like me, or someone who I aspire to be, reminds me that I am not alone. It’s important to remember that representation does not equal liberation, and including intersectionality is crucial to ensuring social equity works.” – Taylor Arlandson, Assistant Account Executive
“Representation is respecting and contributing to the spaces where I feel comfortable in my own skin, culture, and language. Representation is being able to celebrate the accomplishments of my brothers and sisters without having to add a qualifier. Representation is not feeling like I have to censor or hold back the upbringing that makes me special out of fear of making people feel uncomfortable. Representation is seeing people who don’t look like me take the time to understand and appreciate people who look like me.” - Alexander Pompee, Account Supervisor
“To me, representation is when I see dark-skinned people included in all facets of society. Whether that’s in media, politics, entertainment, art, athletics, etc. When dark skin people (specifically dark skinned women) show up in those spaces so elegantly and so fiercely themselves, it makes me feel seen. It encourages me to believe in all that America truly can be.” – Mabinty Kanu, Account Executive